Noisy equipment, traffic, cones lining the street — telltale signs the South Meridian overlay project is well underway. The 35-year-old road has been chipped and sealed twice, and the latest project will fully rehabilitate the road from 15th and 31st avenues on Meridian.
The $1.2 million project is expected to wrap up just in time for the Washington State Fair, which begins Sept. 11. The project will create new pavement, lane markings and upgraded pedestrian access and signals.
“Our project managers are working really hard to complete this project in a timely manner,” Puyallup Public Works Director Rob Andreotti said.
The project began last month, but according to Andreotti, Aug. 2 is when citizens may began to feel the pain of more than traffic congestion. Andreotti and others are expecting to hear complaints once heavy machinery hits the pavement the first week of August.
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From 9 p.m. Sunday, to 6 a.m. Monday, crews will begin grinding the pavement to remove the existing asphalt between 15th Street SE and 17th Street SE.
Then, come Aug. 4 and 5, crews will begin grinding operations at 4 a.m. between 17th Street SE and 31st Street SE.
“We will start at 4 a.m. with a big machine to grind down the pavement,” he said. “We hope to then be off the road by 3 p.m.”
The following week, paving begins between 15th Street SE and 31st Street SE, starting Aug. 9 and lasting until Aug. 12. Paving is set to begin at 9 p.m., and to conclude by 6 a.m. the following morning.
“It’s all in a goal to get this done as soon as possible,” Andreotti said.
With Meridian down to one lane in each direction, signed detours have been set up. The first takes drivers to 9th Street SW by 15th Avenue SW and 31st Avenue SW. The second detour takes drivers to 5th Street SE, 6th Street SE, and 7th Street SE via 15th Avenue SE and 31st and 35th Avenue SE. The third detour takes drivers to SR 512 from South Meridian and 31st Avenue SW.
Andreotti said he hadn’t heard many complaints from drivers, until a fire broke out near the Canyon Road exit of SR 512 earlier this month.
“It really did snarl things up,” he continued. “It really upset folks.”
Currently, there are no plans to shut down South Meridian through out the project, but traffic restrictions will be in place.
“There will be one lane down at times,” Andreotti said. “But traffic will be going constantly.”